TEDxUNT 2016: (re)imagining
A little less than a year ago, I received a Facebook message from a UNT senior, Katie Berlin, telling me that she is "creating a committee for the university so that we can regularly and forevermore have TEDx conferences on our campus" and wanted me to serve on it. I happily accepted, and joined a mission to share the ideas that made UNT such a creative and innovative institution.
So many man-hours were spent making TEDxUNT a reality. From coming up with the theme to handing out the first name tag on the day of the show, the Steering Committee worked tirelessly to create an event that made an impact on UNT's campus and in the TED and TEDx communities.
The event sold out within the first few days. People were excited to see what our talks fit with our theme of (re)imagining. The audience members -regardless of their professional backgrounds- loved all of the talks whether they were about physics, culture, poverty, addiction, psychology or even Twitter!
But TEDxUNT wasn't just a room with a stage and people talking...the TEDxUNT experience was all throughout the University Union. Our Interactive room had virtual reality headsets and discussion boards for the attendees to think about how they would (re)imagine the world around them. And for the people who weren't able to get a ticket because we sold out, the TEDxUNT Active Lounge was set up in the Union Syndicate. Attendees could take part in a live streaming party while engaging in discussions and breakout sessions; some lucky attendees could win
TEDxUNT was an amazing experience. I'm so glad I got to serve on the Content sub-committee and choose the lineup and coach the speakers for the event. I'm excited to see what next in store for TEDxUNT because I'm sure the public won't let this be a one time thing (and us organizers want more TEDxUNT events too!).
Thank you to everyone who served on the TEDxUNT Steering Committee. Your efforts made sure that TEDxUNT was a night to remember!
Special thanks to: Katie Berlin and Grant Hale for initiating this event and asking the right people to support your idea. Kelly M. Roberts (not pictured) for her dedicated leadership that made everyone work seamlessly together. I'm so sad that she couldn't be there for the final show, but none of this would have been possible without her. Marian Ford Smith for organizing all of our meetings, making our schedules all match up, and serving as the perfect liaison between the Steering Committee and UNT Administration. Patrick Pluscht for knowing exactly what resources we could use and how to get them. You and CLEAR were so instrumental in making the event a spectacle! Not pictured but still a huge part of making TEDxUNT come together: Christy Crutsinger, Brian Richardson, Harrison Long, Chelcie Parry, Francisco Guzman, Eugene Martin. I'm blessed to have been given the chance to work with all of these wonderful people, and bring to the community an event where non-traditional thinking and learning is emphasized and Ideas Worth Spreading can be heard. TEDxUNT was surreal, and it felt like I was imagining it the whole time… Maybe I should (re)imagine it once more.